NFL commissioner Roger Goodell restated his support for a new stadium in Buffalo on Monday.
“I want to make sure this franchise remains competitive and stable,” Goodell said, per The Athletic.
Goodell made the comment while attending the Jim Kelly Celebrity Classic golf tournament in Batavia, N.Y.
He expressed a similar sentiment three years ago at the same charity event hosted by the Hall of Fame quarterback.
“Stadiums are important, just to making sure the team here can continue to compete not only throughout the NFL but also to compete in this environment because we’ve got great facilities here now,” Goodell said in 2016. “The Bills have to stay up with that.”
The Bills play at New Era Field (capacity 71,608), formerly known as Rich Stadium and Ralph Wilson Stadium, which opened in 1973 in Orchard Park, and underwent renovations in 1998 and 2013.
Erie County officials have expressed their support for further upgrades to the current facility over building a new home for the Bills.
“You have to make the determination of do you build a new stadium or do you renovate the existing stadium and get the best bang for the buck,” Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz told the Buffalo News in April. “We know if we can extend the lifespan of that stadium for another 25 years, and if it worked for our market, why would we not do that?”
Bills ownership has discussed building a new stadium that would be a “scaled-down version” of the “palaces” that are being built around the league.
“The thing (Los Angeles Rams owner) Stan (Kroenke) is building in L.A. is amazing, Jerry Jones’ facility in Dallas. So we need to do something that’s Buffalo style,” co-owner Terry Pegula said to reporters last month.
The Bills’ current lease at New Era Field runs through the 2022 season, but the team can opt out in 2020.